So I stop into the Chipotle (because I hadn’t actually eaten a real meal for a bit due to lazy indecisiveness) closest to my house that’s hidden behind the closed Borders bookstore. Normally, the sound echoes off the nearly empty walls (I think because one has to already know it exists to find it. The first two times I tried, I gave up). This night, however, everyone in the town must have been in the seating area, including the local firemen. I half-expected to wait in a fairly long line, but when I walked in, the counter was empty. Even the workers had abandoned their side.
Except for this one girl. She was average height, dark brown hair of some length, and spoke with a slight accent. Not Spanish sounding, perhaps somewhere from India/Pakistan (which is a wild guess, since I don’t know her and did not inquire). When I approached the glass partition, she faced the back so that I surprised her a bit when she noticed me. After her standard welcome, I begin my order.
“Hi. I’d like a steak burrito.”
Blank stare from nice girl on the other side of the counter.
Patiently inquisitive stare from me.
“We can’t do that.”
Stupefied look from me. Glance toward the steak. Glance toward the menu.
I have to admit, at this point in the conversation, I thought I was unwittingly participating in some sort of practical joke. And I didn’t want to look like any more of an idiot than the situation made me into, so I didn’t overtly look at anything. I also refrained from pointing out that their motto had been (at least at one point in their existence) “Burritos, thousands of different ways.”
“We used to, but we don’t anymore.”
Incredulity edging toward annoyance.
It was at this point that I began to reach that particular exasperation John Cleese perfected in the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch. I knew, however, that life, even mine, cannot possibly reach the level of absurdity portrayed in the best of Monty Python if people are to continue on. Mercifully, the problem revealed itself, when she explained:
“We can’t do both. You can either have a quesadilla or a burrito, but we can’t do them both.”
A miscommunication! And one easily solved by standing a little taller (to clear the glass sneeze-guard) and restating a little louder and with clearer enunciation:
“I’d like a steak burrito.”
“Oh. Ok then.”
And with that, I had my steak burrito (sans rice and sour cream) and went along my merry way. I’m glad I didn’t have to resort to a standard Monty Python solution, and that I ended up with a funny story to share at parties. Or on blogs.